Scott has grabbed many headlines over the years for its trend-setting race bikes. The original CR1 heralded a new era in carbon monocoques, the Addict set the benchmark for flyweight frames, and the Foil helped usher in a generation of lightweight aero machines. All the while though, the company has been quietly selling thousands of its Speedster alloy road bikes.
Highs: Classy IAM Cycling paint job; decent performance; mechanic-friendly threaded bottom bracket shell
Lows: Spec tokenism gives you Ultegra shifters and a bargain basement headset; mudguard-friendly version no longer an option; 23mm tyres
Buy if: You want a good looking middle-of-the-road ride with a few nice bits
The Speedster 10 is the top of the line model. It’s a striking thing, with a red, white and blue paint job that puts us in mind of Team GB. In fact, this is the livery of Swiss-based pro team IAM Cycling, and although it’s unlikely you’ll be seeing Sylvain Chavanel or Heinrich Haussler aboard an alloy rig any time soon, you can still benefit from the team sponsor’s good cosmetic taste.
The riding position is neither race nor endurance, but a slightly nondescript middle ground: the riding position is neither race nor endurance, but a slightly nondescript middle ground
The riding position is neither race nor endurance, but a slightly nondescript middle ground
The frame is a pretty standard affair, with full internal cabling and double butted 6061 alloy tubes that meet at cheerfully non-smoothed welds. The fork is a straight steerer carbon-legged job, nestled in a fairly traditional head tube. With our mechanics’ hats on, certain details of this chassis stand out – we appreciate the fuss-free threaded bottom bracket shell – a boon to those happy to wield their own spanners – but less appealing is the headset which, while being described as one of the “integrated cartridge” variety, actually consists of some decidedly low-rent caged ball bearings. They’ll do the job, but we somehow expect better. It’s also a shame that Scott, which used to offer a UK-specific Speedster with mudguard eyelets, has dropped the option from the line-up, limiting the bike’s versatility.
Rather than giving you a complete groupset, Scott has used its component budget to give you a sniff of Shimano Ultegra (shifters, rear derailleur), a dash of 105 (front derailleur, bottom bracket) and a smattering of non-series bits, including the cranks and brakes. It’s a perfectly logical approach, but on a bike weighing over 9kg, it smacks of tokenism. Ultegra offers minimal weight savings and no functional advantage over 11-speed 105 and, if we’re honest, a complete 105 setup would be more aesthetically harmonious, even if the levers aren’t as shiny.
A touch of ultegra class out back: a touch of ultegra class out back David Caudery
A touch of Ultegra class out back
Nitpicking aside, it’s the riding experience that matters and the Speedster is thoroughly inoffensive once you throw a leg over it. The riding position lies somewhere between a full-on racer and a ‘sportive’ setup, and it occupies a middle ground in terms of both stiffness and comfort too. The bike doesn’t offer razor-sharp power transfer, but it’s not going to hold you back either. There was a little more road feedback through the bars than we’d have liked, but this could certainly be mitigated by fitting larger tyres – we’re not sure why some manufacturers are persisting with 23s, but 25s will fit if you want them.
Some minor spec choices aside, it’s hard to fault the Scott, but equally it doesn’t mark itself out from the herd. It’s a competent, fairly rounded bike that does exactly what you’d expect – no more, and no less.
Note: This model is not available in Australia.